Folk Artist in Essex Brings Junk to Life

Folk Artist in Essex Brings Junk to Life

Posted in the Herscher Forum

“The Kankakee Post”

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#1 Jan 7, 2011
Full story with photos can be found here.

Jack Barker 77, has been making art out of junk regularly since 1993. Jackís metal shop is listed in Route 66 magazines as a tourist stop. He has received many visitors over the years some from as far as Nepal. His art is displayed all over his property and he continues to invite people to his shop in Essex, IL.

Jackís passion for art began whilst his time as an owner/ operator of a body and fender shop in Essex, IL from 1960-1985. His first piece was the result of a question of what to do with all his extra fenders and random car parts from his shop.

Jack sees a piece of junk and brings together a sculpture using the natural tendencies of the material. He lets the metal and junk become a piece rather than setting out to create a certain piece of art.

Using arc wielders and hammers he pieces together masterpieces out of things left behind. What some view as junk, Jack sees as art. Jack has appeared on Television shows, magazines, and even has taught classes on metal art for the University of Illinois.

Jack invites people to have their own opinions of what art is and wishes people were to spend a bit more time being creative. Some see him as an eccentric old man while others see him as an artist. Jack had something to say about it.

ďYou either think Iím an artist, or Iím crazy, Iím probably a little of bothĒ.

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